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Ukraine retakes northern towns as fierce fighting continues in the east and south

WorldUkraine retakes northern towns as fierce fighting continues in the east and south

Russian troops were said to have fled to within about six miles of their own border after suffering heavy losses. The retreat will come as another blow to their PresidentVladimir Putin, who was said to have been furious when his forces were similarly beaten back from the capital Kyiv. Yesterday a Ukrainian military spokesman said their forces had reclaimed Cherkaski Tyshky, Ruski Tyshki, Borshchova and Slobozhanske.

The Institute of War, a US-based think tank, confirmed: “Ukrainian forces liberated several towns north of Kharkiv city and continued pushing north of the recently liberated Staryi Saltiv to capture several towns north-east of Kharkiv.”

The Kremlin desperately tried to redeploy troops from elsewhere to help the beleaguered forces in the north.

The think tank said: “The Ukrainian counter-offensive will likely continue to divert Russian troops and resources from deployment to other axes of advance, where fighting has been similarly stalled out by the successful Ukrainian defence.”

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed the fightback in a video address – while sounding a note of caution that there could be no quick victory.

He said: “I want to urge all our people…not to spread excessive emotions.

“We should not create an atmosphere of excessive moral pressure, where victories are expected weekly and even daily.”

Elsewhere, fierce fighting continued in the east and south of Ukraine, where the cities of Odesa and Mariupol have come under renewed Russian bombardment in the last few days.

Odesa was hit by seven missiles on Monday, leaving the streets choked by acrid smoke as fires blazed at a shopping centre.

In Mariupol, the 1,000 or so Ukrainian marines hunkered down beneath the Azovstal steelworks continued to thwart Russian efforts to storm the plant.

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